We have a choice: we can live under the old covenant (the still popular way as it has been for millennia), or under the new. And if we choose to live under the new covenant, all will go well with us; right?
If we are driving, all the lights will turn green for us; the boss will give us a raise; our spouse will smile sweetly at us; our investments will prosper. Right?
Jesus surely lived under the new covenant, but He also died under it; from His boyhood He met constant opposition and turmoil that led Him eventually to the cross. No, new covenant living is not a picnic.
As a student in the "school of Christ" you are under serious, loving discipline (Heb. 12:5-10). Some setbacks and disappointments may be good for you in the long run. But the Lord tempers our trials, giving each of us the benefit of infinite wisdom. To each of us is given the "measure of faith" that makes life where His providence has placed us a thing of quiet, steady joy.
Even Jesus in His incarnation endured discipline. We read that "He [learned] obedience by the things which He suffered" (5:8). You will someday thank the Lord Jesus for permitting certain disappointments to come to you; your present happiness can be greatly enhanced by anticipating this through your confidence in His faithfulness. The joy of the future can become yours in the present through faith.
The first message Jesus gave to the assembled disciples after His resurrection was, "Peace be unto you" (John 20:19). This is no vain compliment; peace of heart is what you long for and He gives it to you today. "My peace I give to you," and that is in the midst of tribulation (see 14:27). The peace comes with your believing the new covenant promises, all seven of them in Genesis 12:2, 3.
You may have to pray the prayer of Mark 9:24: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." A wise writer assures us that we can never perish while we pray that prayer. Every little prayer you pray, making that choice, makes you stronger in the Lord.
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 15, 2006.Copyright © 2010 by Robert J. Wieland.
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